Coughing produces aerosols comprised of components of fluid that line the respiratory tract. These aerosols have been implicated in the transmission of many infectious diseases. Important factors that must be considered in aerosol transport include its physical size distribution, the shape and density of its components, as well as its chemical and biological composition. This study represents the initial phase of a larger project whose goal is to investigate the relationship between the generation of infectious aerosols and the dissemination of diseases in the workplace. The objective of this study was to develop a computational model representative of the generation and entrainment of an aerosol during cough. This model is composed of two sub-models; the first describes the formation of “mother” droplets and their entrainment in an air-stream and the second simulates the fragmentation of these droplets into smaller size distributions. The first sub-model is used to calculate the amount of fluid entrained in the droplets which is a function of the physical properties of the airway lining fluid and airflow patterns in the airway. The second sub-model describes the fragmentation of the droplets as a function of the physical properties of the fluid composition and a description of the flow field surrounding the droplet. Preliminary results show that, with the proper choice of model constants, it is possible to obtain relatively good agreement between model predictions and experimental measurements.

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